I headed down to Tokyo for the annual Ginza Blade Show and this may be the first time I was underwhelmed. Mind you, it didn’t stop me from being tempted by a couple items.
Luckily, although the humidity approached liquid, today wasn’t mercilessly hot which meant I still had some energy by the time I reached the venue. I got there right before opening time and, because I’ve been to enough shows that I may now officially be a mascot, I was able to walk in as if I belonged there. This gave me a chance to survey the room before it started filling up.
The usual suspects were there and although I was tempted to buy a knife from one of them, that was part of the problem. All the same faces with all the same knives and all the same prices.
The most interesting knife had a handle made from old computer mother boards and acrylic but the rest weren’t that interesting.
That said, there were a few interesting new trends.
First, a lot of the tables seemed to have discovered carbon fiber. Two of my favorite knife makers had knives with carbon fiber handles that looked great and were surprisingly light. I had a nice–albeit short–chat with Toshiyuki Miyamae who survived the Atlanta Blade Show this year.
(Note to the uninitiated: The Atlanta Blade Show or “Blade” is roughly the equivalent of Mecca to a knife knut, er, nut. Everyone must go once.)
Miyamae had a double bladed slip joint folder with heat anodized titanium bolsters and hand carved liners that probably cost well over two-thousand dollars. I’m still surprised he let me touch it. (He also let me take a picture of it that didn’t turn out very well. Sigh.)
The second new trend was accessories and knives made from interesting materials. There were sheath makers and a leather worker who also made leather bags and leather covered guitars.
The final new trend was women. This show had a lot more women than usual as it appears a lot of men brought their wives. I do not think this was an attempt to convince the women to buy and enjoy knives. Rather, I think it was an attempt to connect human faces to the knives. “Honey, if I don’t buy this expensive knife, that nice friendly man who just gave you some butterscotch will starve to death and die.” (Something like that.)
I’ll have to ask about that before the next show in October. If it worked, I might have to plan a day trip for She Who Must Be Obeyed.